Meet our Cohort 2020-21Back
Michael Badmus: Primary Graduate
What advice would I give to myself a year ago?
It’s a questions that has many answers, some being more difficult to articulate than others.
Firstly, it’s important to establish that this has been the most challenging thing I have ever had to do and its also by far the most rewarding.
The first thing I would say to myself is “you are always going to be tired - get accustomed to it, let it mould you”. Balancing the workload of your school placement, ITE requirements and your personal life is a real challenge and finding a balance can prove difficult if not nigh on impossible.
“Michael be organised!”. Out of all the skills that were important in order for me to be successful this year, my ability to remain organised has been the most vital. There is a constant stream of information from ITE and your placement schools; without being organised things will be overlooked and a sense of being overwhelmed will slowly start to loom over you.
“Enjoy the first month or so when you’re mostly observing best practice”. This is a great opportunity to develop your skills by gathering ideas and strategies from more experienced teachers. It’s a great chance to get accustomed to your placement school; the proverbial calm before the storm.
Overall try to enjoy the experience, it will be filled with joyous occasions and challenging times but you have a great team to support you.
During these turbulent times, I have spent time reflecting on the current challenges in my practice and the reasons why I chose to train as a teacher. The most notable challenge has been moving from in school teaching to online teaching. The process of adapting lessons, assessment strategies and learning how to use applications for the online environment has been time consuming but it has proved invaluable for students’ online attainment and engagement.
My reasons and drive for wanting to become a teacher have strengthened over recent periods. My goal to have a positive and long-lasting impact on children’s attainment seems to be of even greater importance, due to the current climate. Teachers in both lower and higher phases of education have the duty and responsibility to help students bridge the gaps in their knowledge but maybe more importantly ensure that student mental health and wellbeing is looked after and catered for in a time of mass anxiety.
I am incredibly excited to be back in school and to have our class family back together. Seeing the smiles on the students’ faces and the sheer joy in being back, makes an extremely rewarding job even more gratifying.
The academy and school have gone to great lengths and taken numerous precautions to ease students and teachers back into the school environment. Teachers are required to take to two Covid tests a week to ensure staff and student safety, teachers have been given freedom to add more mindfulness time and activities to the weekly timetable along with a daily mile run, to improve student wellbeing and mental health. The students have enjoyed the extra time allocated to taking part in mindful and physical activities and so have I, being able to share this time with the students after months of being stuck behind a screen has been genuinely wonderful.
I am looking forward to the next few months and the challenges they may bring, regardless of how large or small, I know I will be having the positive impact on students and will be making a difference.
A week at school
Monday: Still yet to have caught the infamous Monday blues, thankfully. I start my day by prepping for the rest of the week, getting my phonics books ready and the resources for my other lessons, everything is a lot easier when you’re prepared.
Tuesday: I have a less busy timetable today therefore I spend a portion of the day getting ready for my Maths booster after school and identifying the students that would benefit the most from the tuition.
Wednesday: I had the pleasure of being observed by my mentor, what I felt was a “alright” Maths lesson. I spend the rest of the day trying to read my mentor’s body language to see if there are any hints to how well I had done. Later, in our mentor meeting, I am given helpful feedback.
Thursday: Thursday is core training day! We had in school training, focusing on phonics, we get a chance to learn things that are instantly applicable to your pedagogy and it’s a rare (thanks to Covid) and pleasant chance to meet up with other trainees in the school.
Friday: I was given a chance to teach all day and it was genuinely a wonderful day. We had a child leaving our school today, so the class were a little emotional, we are all going to miss her.
Months into practising Accounting, it became clear to me that my interest had begun to wane. I wanted a role where I had a tangible, positive impact on people’s lives. During this transitional period, I started working as a tutor; this is where I discovered my enthusiasm for teaching and working with children. I soon realise a longing to be a role model for students and to have a positive, powerful and permanent impact on young people’s futures. Soon after starting tutoring, I became a teaching assistant.
I remember being in an interview for a school direct role and being asked what I felt would be the biggest challenges in the transition from a Teaching assistant to a Teacher. I felt I understood the change in responsibility and the main challenges in the profession. After the summer school training, although it was immensely helpful and informative, I suddenly felt like I was walking into the eye of a hurricane with only an umbrella for protection.
In my first week, after having conversations with my mentor and tutor about my concerns, the haze and insecurities started to fade. My link tutor at HITE has been genuinely helpful, offering prompt help and assistance with personal and work-related matters. I work closely with my mentor on a day to day basis and she has quickly helped me adjust to a new academy and has given me the opportunity to try new ideas in the classroom without the fear of failure. A couple of weeks in, I started to feel more comfortable in my new surroundings, largely due to my colleagues being so personable and supportive.
I am currently focusing on the targets set by my mentor in our weekly meetings, this includes working on the tone and register of my voice (I am currently using apps and videos to assist me) and managing my time better within lessons. Teaching my year 2 class have been a joy, working with a young age group has taught me a lot already in the first few weeks, professionally and personally; how to be more vulnerable, open and not taking myself too seriously.
I am excited to continue learning and working on more skills to add to my teaching arsenal, all in the goal of being the best teacher I can be.